International Bamboo and Rattan Organization

International Bamboo and Rattan Organization


Ethiopia, Kenya, Uganda

A woman in Kenya carries freshly harvested bamboo.


Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development Programme: Phase II

East African countries have abundant bamboo resources, but the plant’s full potential for poverty alleviation, job creation and environmental protection has not been fully realised. Running from 2020 to 2023, Phase II of the Dutch-Sino-East Africa Bamboo Development Programme is working to transfer knowledge, technologies and policy experiences from Europe and Asia to help develop the bamboo sector in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda, to make it organised, efficient, vibrant and visible. The Dutch-Sino-East Africa Programme builds on the first phase of the project, which ran from 2016 to 2019.

Project objectives

The specific objectives of the programme are to:

  • Create sustainable and lucrative bamboo value chains for industry and small-to-medium enterprises, by upscaling existing value chains and diversifying into new ones.
  • Restore and sustainably manage bamboo resources, so that they contribute to decreased deforestation, enhanced carbon sinks, and increased climate resilience for ecosystems and livelihoods.
  • Improve the business environment, market development, policy and regulatory frameworks for bamboo, to increase public awareness and private sector investment.

The Programme is expected to provide direct benefits to some 28,500 people, as well as restoring 5000 hectares of degraded land with bamboo and enhancing sustainable management practices for 5000 hectares of bamboo plantations and farms. The target groups are smallholder farmers, women, youth, small-to-medium enterprises and larger industries.

Project activities so far

In 2020, the programme made a number of important contributions to bamboo sector development:

  • Training. Programme staff organised 37 training courses for over 1000 trainees, which focused on how to establish bamboo micro-enterprises and how to link these to larger bamboo companies. A more formal vocational education curriculum is being developed, which will focus on training occupational skills for industrial bamboo processing and small- and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs). In addition to SMEs, the programme is working to assist two new, larger bamboo businesses: GreenPot Enterprises in Kenya and Kontiki Bamboo Works in Uganda.
  • Planting bamboo. A robust bamboo sector requires a sustainable supply of bamboo. In 2020, the programme facilitated the establishment of 24 bamboo nurseries for the government and private sector, and supported smallholder farmers to plant bamboo on almost 1000 hectares (ha) of land. More than 1100 smallholder bamboo growers received training on how to sustainably manage their bamboo resources.
  • Supporting bamboo businesses. The programme has also been working to promote bamboo business development. Bamboo knowledge centres have been established in Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to provide business advice and support to prospective entrepreneurs. Locations have been identified to create bamboo depots – an important requirement for creating steady supply chains for enterprises.
  • Improving product quality. The programme has been supporting Ethiopia, Kenya and Uganda to finalise bamboo product standards and kickstart the process for forestry certification by the Forest Stewardship Council in Ethiopia.


Ethiopia hosts African delegates for Bamboo Study Tour

Online Course: Bamboo cluster and supply chain development for strengthening bamboo value-chains

Online Course: Standardisation of the Bamboo Industry

Online Course: Tropical Sympodial Bamboo Resource Management

Contact details

For more information about the project, please contact:

  • Selim Reza, Programme Manager, selim [at] inbar [dot] int, Ethiopia
  • Fiker Assefa Tareke, National Project Coordinator, fatareke [at] inbar [dot] int, Ethiopia
  • Nellie Caroline Mugure Oduor, National Project Coordinator, ncmoduor [at] inbar [dot] int, Kenya
  • Michael Malinga: National Project Coordinator, mmalinga [at] inbar [dot] int, Uganda

Project resources

The Potential of Bamboo for Climate Change Mitigation in Ethiopia

This study presents the potential of bamboo for climate change mitigation in ...

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